One of the features of a truly great starting pitcher, of an "ace," is that special ability to stop a losing streak. By the sheer force of one's will (and talent), an entire team's momentum and fate can be redirected. This is what young Mr. Lincecum has demonstrated repeatedly so far this season; specifically, today's gem was the fourth victory by Tim following a Giants' loss.
This was perhaps Tim's best outing of the young season. His eight innings match a career high. The Enchanter gave up four hits; two of which were solo homers, while striking out eight and walking one. The numbers, while impressive, don't really tell the story. Tim set the tone immediately by striking out the first three batters LOOKING. Cool, huh? This kind of domination continued throught out the game. His best inning was the seventh; three outs from the heart of their potent order ON SEVEN PITCHES. Another thing I always look for is how a pitcher responses after a homer...how does he deal with the next batter? Tim was unfazed after Howard led off the second with an opposite field blast (boy howdy is that guy good!) as he got three straight fly outs. With one out in the eigth, Tim gave up a homer by their catcher, then a single! After a coaching visit, He finished his night with a fly out and, of course, another strikeout. The kid has poise.
Everything seems a little different with Tim on the mound. Even if we fall a behind, there is a sense that we can still win. There can be no doubt that we are all watching the real deal here. This all begs the question, and I am really asking for answers here,
WHY DOESN'T TIM HAVE A LONG TERM DEAL YET?
Is this something to worry about? Is it OK to live through arbitration years? Is Lincecum (and his Daddy) holding it up? Matt signed a biggie, right? What gives?